A farmer unwittingly sparked frenzied speculation about a cryptic message written in a field when his romantic apology to his wife went viral.
Using the GPS system in his tractor, Murray Graham sprayed weedkiller across a swath of weeds and grass, marking out the letters “SUE x” in his Oxfordshire field in tribute to his long-suffering wife.
The 49-year-old wanted his helicopter pilot son George to fly above the farm and take a picture of the giant gesture.
“I had some leftover chemical, and I thought I’d give it a go and see if I could put a smile on her face,” he said.
But before his son had a chance to grab the overhead shot of the field, the National Police Air Service spotted the message as they swooped overhead.
Officers posted the image on social media with the caption: “Does anyone know Sue just south of Tetsworth, the other side of the M40?! #WhoIsSue”
Conspiracy theories flooded in, from those convinced it spelled the beginning of an alien invasion to others who suspected it was a sneaky piece of marketing from a local law firm.
As speculation mounted on Friday, the couple were working in the heart of the Chilterns and miles from phone reception.
Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford on Saturday after returning home to find his quirky love note had found fame, Graham explained it was meant as an apology to his wife for being moody.
“I’m not quite as grumpy and old as perhaps I make out occasionally,” he said. “As ever, everything has its ups and downs, so I thought I’d try and make a gesture at some point, and that was the one I chose.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010
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